Telehealth has risen in popularity in recent years. Today, it continues to gain traction across the country since it is making healthcare more accessible. A great example is how telehealth users in states like Virginia and Maryland have 24/7 access to a video triage center. The quick and easy assessment helps people determine whether their situation calls for a trip to the emergency room or if it can be resolved by the provider’s physicians– which is the case 60% of the time.
But the quality of care you receive and your satisfaction will boil down to whether or not a provider can meet your needs and expectations. When choosing a telehealth partner, here are four things you should consider to get the most out of their services:
Range of services offered
Not all telehealth providers are made equal, so you should partner with one that caters to your health needs and concerns. The HHS lists a few common forms of care associated with most telehealth providers such as laboratory results, prescription management, and physical therapy. But you might require other forms of help such as on-demand refills for medication, specialized mental healthcare, and at-home diagnostic kits. When choosing your telehealth provider, be sure to first check the range of services they offer to properly gauge whether or not you will want to enlist them as your healthcare partner.
You should also be aware of the requirements for your specific area as they differ from place to place. In most states that have strong telehealth frameworks, professionals are required to undergo specialized training. Remote nurse practitioners in Nevada are required to have a nursing degree and specialty certification from a nationally accredited agency. They are also required to be registered with the state’s board of nursing. The same goes for areas such as California, where healthcare professions are highly regulated by different governing bodies like the board of psychology and the medical board. Knowing what certifications and credentials to look out for from your healthcare professionals will give you the confidence and assurance to trust the treatments and care being given to you by your chosen telehealth provider.
With telehealth shifting to a digital medium, it is important to ensure your safety and security. Our past article on the ‘Clever Ways to Protect Yourself from Modern Threats’ highlights how internet literacy is important in keeping yourself safe from falling victim to cyber-attacks and hacks online. Read up on the security measures each telehealth provider has set in place to help you understand whether or not these precautions are formidable enough for your liking. You should look for things like end-to-end message encryption, two-factor authentication, and data privacy between you and your healthcare contacts. Though telehealth functions online, these platforms are still required to adhere to HIPAA regulations and having a good set of security measures will ensure that your information will always be protected and that you can rest easy.
Navigating through modern technology can be difficult and with telehealth being relatively new, it might be even harder to understand how to get around a provider’s platform. Consider choosing a partner that utilizes user-friendly software so you will not be left confused when trying to set an appointment, request services, or enter a virtual consultation. Providers that have their own mobile apps can also aid in making care more accessible since you can avail of their assistance from anywhere at any time. When deciding which company to partner with, look through their websites or applications so you can determine whether or not you are comfortable navigating through them. Assess whether or not it’s easy to sort through their specialties so you can get the care you need. Find out if they have an active support section where you can direct questions and receive answers in real-time. If you find their platform’s interface to be intuitive, you will be more inclined to use their services and offerings– making them more valuable to you.